The high-volume/low price gym model(aka Globo Gyms) sell memberships exceptionally well, up to the tune of 1.9 Billion USD well.
That’s a lot of money.
You’d think with that revenue two things could happen.
1. Employees would be paid a wage above minimum, and commensurate to their experience and education.
2. Employers would look to attract and retain the best applicants and performers.
Neither unfortunately is the case, although there will always be exceptions.
Globo Gyms exist where the trainers cut of the session rate falls below minimum wage after taxes and the earning potential between degree holder/non-degree holder and those without any formal education can be narrow,if not non-existent even upon hire.
In simpler terms, a 4 year college graduate with a major in health/exercise science and certification, a non-degreed but highly experienced and well qualified+certified veteran coach and a person that simply looks fit could perceivably start earning the same hourly amount.
The drive of the Globo gym model follows a few common things…
1. Membership sales is where money is made. The most valued gym members are those that never show up despite signing a termed agreement with Autopay.
2. The Industrial Age hiring practice of hiring the minimally competent is alive and well. “Minimally competent” being a very fluid term.
For example, my personal definition of “minimally competent” would have excluded all but 5-7 people (counting me) among twenty-two staff trainers in a popular commercial gym.
Mind you, my definition of minimum competence is on the modest side.
At present there is no licensing agency regulating personal training within the United States. Therefore anyone can call themselves a personal trainer. I have first-hand experience of being over-ruled on the hiring of people that were clearly not prepared to be training others,much less those with medical,orthopedic or sport specific issues.
The back of their shirt said “Personal Trainer” just like mine did.
There are also trainers with past education but never updated it and since lapsed. The first question that comes to mind is “Have they stayed on top of anything within the field in that time?”
Maintaining a certification isn’t for most organizations a very difficult process, although it does come at an expense.
Then there are ones with active certifications that never pursued any advanced coursework.
The typically low paying, somewhat dead-end nature of many commercial gyms leads to at least two outcomes.
1. Trainer burn out at a relatively fast rate.
2. Higher qualified trainers,or those with higher aspirations leaving for other places.
I consider the both inevitable. Driven and thinking mans trainers want to be around similar types. They will have issues being around too many people they view as professionally going nowhere….and commercial gyms lose them all the time.